Poll: Democrats and GOP don't even agree on country's top issue

Voters wait in line to enter a polling place at the Jamestown Town Hall before the poll opens Nov. 4, 2014, in Jamestown, North Carolina.
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Voters wait in line to enter a polling place at the Jamestown Town Hall before the poll opens Nov. 4, 2014, in Jamestown, North Carolina.

Republicans and Democrats can't even agree on what they believe is the biggest issue facing the nation.

When asked in the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which issue should be the top priority for the federal government to address, Republican primary voters' leading response was national security and terrorism (27 percent said it was their first choice).

That's followed by the deficit and government spending (24 percent), job creation and economic growth (21 percent) and religious and moral values (12 percent).

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By comparison, the top priority for Democrats in the poll was job creation and economic growth (37 percent) — followed by health care (17 percent), climate change (15 percent) and national security and terrorism (13 percent).

Among all Americans, the ranking was job creation/economic growth (29 percent), national security/terrorism (21 percent) and deficit/government spending (17 percent).

The economy dropping to the No. 3 concern among Republican primary voters is a striking departure from March 2012, when it ranked No. 1 (at 36 percent) — followed by the deficit/government spending (at 35 percent) and national security/terrorism (at just 8 percent).

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted of 1,000 adults from April 26-30, and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.